Management Philosophy: Lean Management

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Lean Management is a Management Philosophy, sometimes referred to as a Lean System, as Lean Manufacturing or as a Lean Enterprise. The Author will use the term “Lean” to refer to the Lean Management Philosophy encapsulating all of the above terms.
The concept of Lean was first introduced by Toyota in the 1950’s (Mi Dahlgaard‐Park et al. 2006). The term “Lean” came later, when in 1990 the first edition of the famous “Lean Production” book was released (Roos et al. 2014). The word Lean was used, as “Lean Production” uses less when compared to mass production. This includes less human resource, less manufacturing area, less investment in machinery and tools, less development hours and less inventory. The output involves less defects, and a greater
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Ahmad (2013) describes Lean as a holistic approach with a strong focus on reducing waste while stressing the importance of creating the right culture to support the transformation rather than focusing too heavily on tools and techniques and Wong (2007) expresses the two sides of Lean as being the visible skills or methods side and also the organisational collaborative human side. Liker (2004) concludes that rather than focusing on tools, companies should understand Lean as a complete system that needs to be ingrained within the company culture. In fact Mi Dahlgaard‐Park et al. (2006) goes further in stating that the main objective of Lean is changing the company culture into something that is open and pro-active and where staff involvement is essential together with continuing improvement and customer satisfaction. Bhasin (2013) emphasises the need for Lean to be treated as a long term commitment and the tools and techniques seen as a framework that enables the application of the philosophy. Bhasin and Burcher (2006) stress that Lean should in fact be seen as a mind-set that governs how one views the business or the processes that make up that…show more content…
He explains that a company works to eliminate waste through the use of continuous improvement processes across the entire value chain and in order to successfully achieve this, the company culture needs to be one where employees know and understand their company’s goals and objectives and also understand how Lean fits with these goals. He also states that employees need to be in possession of the necessary tools and techniques and have the freedom to implement these. Ahmad (2013) indicates that the successful creation of a Lean culture will lead to more innovative solutions with lower staff turnover and better, more numerous and sustainable improvements. Ransom (2008) translates this into Wall Street terms stating that lean is about sustaining the growth of a company, in revenues, earnings and cash flow. However Seddon (2011) reminds us that according to Ohno, who developed the Toyota Production System, to focus primarily on financial results is to do things the wrong way round as the financial results are the by-product of identifying and resolving

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